Monday, November 26, 2012

The Future of Post Secondary is Free

At the beginning of the year I created a post about taking MIT courses for free. Well they aren't the only university offering their wares gratis. Many post secondary institutions are doing the same. And not only are they doing the same but they seem to be developing cooperatives. One such cooperative is Coursera. With over 206 courses and 33 Universities, this might be your one stop shop for free high end learning. And we are not talking about slouches for schools here :
Now as with MIT, you won't get the credit for the course but you will get the knowledge (and a certificate - yay). And in the current world we live in, that is all you may need to be successful. What you can actually do will more than likely start to trump that university degree (if it doesn't already). Sure some of these courses may not seem to have immediate application (Neuroethics or A Beginner's Guide to Irrational Thinking) or are highly specialized (Equine Nutrition) but many are exactly the sort of thing that might move you ahead (Creative Programming for Digital Media and Mobile Apps).

Now before you dismiss this as a passing thing, listen to Keith Devlin (Standford Professor, author of over 30 books and NPR's Math Guy). Here he talks about the 60,000+ students taking his MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) Introduction to Mathematical Thinking a few weeks ago.

So good luck to you all in your new education

WHY BLENDED LEARNING ? (PART 5 - ePORTFOLIO)


This is the last of a five-part series that answers the question, "WHY BLENDED LEARNING?"

Teachers… are you asking these questions?


1)   How can I post class work, lessons, and resources for my students to access online?

2)   How can I incorporate more multimedia (video, audio, flash) into the daily learning?

3)   Is there a place where students can submit work and I can assess their learning… entirely online?

4)   How can I differentiate my instruction and inspire collaboration to meet the needs of all of my students?

5)   Is there something I can use to help students build an electronic portfolio?

BLENDED LEARNING
may be the answer...

   All K-12 students in Ontario schools now have access to an online tool called ePortfolio. This tool allows students the opportunity to build an online collection of their work and achievements. Within ePortfolio, users may include documents, graphics, audio files, presentations, and more that reflect their personal learning journey. Ideally, students will begin building their ePortfolio today and continue to reflect upon and refine it as they continue to gather artifacts from their learning.


   This personal showcase may then be shared with teachers, fellow students, parents, and future employers. e-Learning Ontario and Desire2Learn has made ePortfolio completely portable, giving students the ability to ‘take this with them’ when they graduate.  



Download the PRINTABLE VERSION and learn how you can start


Friday, November 23, 2012

How to Embed a PDF file into a Blogger Blog Post

PDF is a commonly used file type that retains its formatting nicely between various computer platforms and can be opened but not easily changed by anyone who has downloaded and installed a freely available PDF reader such as Acrobat Reader or my personal favorite Nitro Reader.

I have recently been asked, "How can I attach a PDF file to a Blogger Blog post"?  Unfortunately the answer is you cannot...  however, you can embed a PDF document into a Blog post and the following steps will show you how to do it.

Step 1.  Login to your Google Account.

Step 2.  When logged in you will see a "Black Tool Bar" along the top of the web page.  In this black tool bar you will select "Drive".

Step 3.  You need to create a Folder that will contain Documents that anyone can view, so select "Create" then select "Folder".
Step 4.  Give the new folder a name such as "Public" or "Shared". 

Step 5.  Select your "Public" folder and from drop down box select "Share -> Share".














Step 6.  Change "Who has access" from "Private" to "Public on the web".
















Step 7.  Open your Public (or Shared)  folder and select the "Upload icon", then choose "Files" and then find and open the PDF file from your computer.
Step 8.  Select "Upload and share" then choose "Share" and then "Done".

Step 9.  Open the newly uploaded PDF file in Google Docs (just double-click the file).

Step 10.  From "File" menu select "Embed this PDF file".

Step 11.  Select and copy all of the HTML code that appears.
Step 12.  Open Blogger (Black menu bar, More->Blogger) and create a new Blog post.

Step 13.  With Blogger's editor window open, select the "HTML" button and then paste the HTML code into the window.

Step 14.  You may need to modify the width and height values to get the embedded PDF file to display correctly on your Blog.  Use the Preview option to test new values.

When you are happy with the size of the embedded PDF file you can simply select "Publish"

That is it, you have now embedded a PDF document into a Blogger Blog post.  I hope you found this guide useful.

Cheers!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Assumption High School Communicating "School News and Events" to the Parents in different Languages!




 As we all know, communication is one of the most important part of any school-home relationship. 
So in an effort to keep Parents in contact of the School News and Events The Et2 Team at the board office,  created a " We Speak Your Language" School Portal for Assumption Catholic High School.

Browse the new School Portal,  in the language you like and read school blog to keep up to date on what is going on in the school IN THE LANGUAGE OF YOUR CHOICE.





Monday, November 19, 2012

PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS - Featured OSAPAC Resource


_____________________________________________________________________________________________
This post is the fifth in a series of posts highliting software available to
Ontario Teachers and 
Students through the Ontario Software Acquisition Program Advisory Committee (OSAPAC)
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Teachers... are you asking the question, 

"What is the best product my students may use to enhance the photos and images we use?"



PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS may be the answer. 

PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS is a Ministry Licensed piece of software available
to all Ontario students and teachers at no cost. 

For further information about OSAPAC Software, please visit the OSAPAC website, or contact your school Board's e-Learning Contact (eLC). 
For a high-quality version of this poster, please download here

 ____________________________________________________________________________________________
This post is the fifth in a series of posts highliting software available to
Ontario Teachers and 
Students through the Ontario Software Acquisition Program Advisory Committee (OSAPAC)
_____________________________________________________________________________________________



Saturday, November 17, 2012

LEARN 360 - Featured OSAPAC Resource

_____________________________________________________________________________________________ 
This post is the fourth in a series of posts highliting software available to
Ontario Teachers and
Students through the Ontario Software Acquisition Program Advisory Committee (OSAPAC)
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Teachers... are you asking the question, 

"Where can I find videos, or even short video clips, with lots of Canadian content ?"



LEARN 360 may be the answer. 

LEARN 360 is a Ministry Licensed piece of software available
to all Ontario students and teachers at no cost. 

For further information about OSAPAC Software, please visit the OSAPAC website, or contact your school Board's e-Learning Contact (eLC). 

For a high-quality version of this poster, please download here

 ____________________________________________________________________________________________
This post is the fourth in a series of posts highliting software available to
Ontario Teachers and 
Students through the Ontario Software Acquisition Program Advisory Committee (OSAPAC)
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Contact Parents and Students via Text Message

Teacher-Parent communication is an important part of any school-home relationship. Getting messages to parents can sometimes be an issue and the novelty of Robo-calls is wearing off "St. Thomas of Villanova calling, Please hold.....". But what if you could text message your parents or students the latest class news, or that there is a test coming up without them knowing your phone number? Well, it turns out you can do it with a free service like Remind 101.

Once set up, you can send a text message from the Remind 101 website or from an app on your phone and that message will go out to anyone who has signed up for your service. The whole process is pretty simple. First go to the https://www.remind101.com/ site and create an account. When you create your account, you will want to use your real name as the messages will be sent out using that name. Next you will be asked to name your first class.
Remind 101 will then generate a unique tag for your class.
That's it. You have just created a class. Now, how do you get that class populated with your students and the parents of your students? They have two simple ways to do this. They can either send a text message that has the message of your class tag or send an email with your class tag. If they send a text message, your messages will bet texted to them. If they send an email, your messages will be emailed to them. They even provide a custom pdf of the instructions that you can send ou:
When someone texts the number they will get an immediate text back asking for their name to identify themselves and they are added directly to your mailing list. All that is left is for you to create a message:

They will even send you a little notification if they think you are texting too late:
Here is what they will see on their phones:
And this is just the beginning. Take a look at the Remind 101 Promo Video

Monday, November 12, 2012

WHY BLENDED LEARNING ? (PART 4 - DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION)

This is the fourth of a five-part series that answers the question, "WHY BLENDED LEARNING?"

Teachers… are you asking these questions?

1)   How can I post class work, lessons, and resources for my students to access online?

2)   How can I incorporate more multimedia (video, audio, flash) into the daily learning?

3)   Is there a place where students can submit work and I can assess their learning… entirely online?

4)   How can I differentiate my instruction and inspire collaboration to meet the needs of all of my students?

5)   Is there something I can use to help students build an electronic portfolio?


BLENDED LEARNING
may be the answer…

The LMS allows teachers to provide differentiated learning paths with the ability to:
  •  ‘release’ course content to individual students when they are ready
  • direct individual students to different learning activities
  • post content for split classes all in one place


Download the PRINTABLE VERSION and learn how you can start

Thursday, November 8, 2012

WHY BLENDED LEARNING ? (PART 3 - ALL ONLINE)


This is the third of a five-part series that answers the question, "WHY BLENDED LEARNING?"

Teachers… are you asking these questions?

1)   How can I post class work, lessons, and resources for my students to access online?
2)   How can I incorporate more multimedia (video, audio, flash) into the daily learning?
3)   Is there a place where students can submit work and I can assess their learning… entirely online?
4)   How can I differentiate my instruction and inspire collaboration to meet the needs of all of my students?
5)   Is there something I can use to help students build an electronic portfolio?

BLENDED LEARNING
may be the answer…
Using the LMS, students can submit work and teachers can assess student learning… all online.

The process is simple:

  • students upload files into a virtual dropbox
  • teachers can view or download student work
  • teachers may then leave feedback using anecdotal notes, completing a rubric, or assigning a grade/level
  • students can then view teacher feedback



To assess student work… teachers have a few choices.

Download the PRINTABLE VERSION and learn how you can start

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

WHY BLENDED LEARNING? (PART TWO - MULTIMEDIA)


This is the second of a five-part series that answers the question, "WHY BLENDED LEARNING?"

Teachers… are you asking these questions? 

1)   How can I post class work, lessons, and resources for my students to access online?
2)   How can I incorporate more multimedia (video, audio, flash) into the daily learning?
3)   Is there a place where students can submit work and I can assess their learning… entirely online?
4)   How can I differentiate my instruction and inspire collaboration to meet the needs of all of my students?
5)   Is there something I can use to help students build an electronic portfolio?

BLENDED LEARNING
may be the answer...



The LMS allows teachers to work with video, audio, interactive objects from the OERB, presentations, and images seamlessly with the enhanced editing tool.

Students may also upload multimedia into online dropboxes.


                       Download the Printable version and to learn how you can start.

Monday, November 5, 2012

WHY BLENDED LEARNING? (PART ONE)

This is the first of a five-part series that answers the question, "WHY BLENDED LEARNING?"

Teachers… are you asking these questions? 

1)   How can I post class work, lessons, and resources for my students to access online?
2)   How can I incorporate more multimedia (video, audio, flash) into the daily learning?
3)   Is there a place where students can submit work and I can assess their learning… entirely online?
4)   How can I differentiate my instruction and inspire collaboration to meet the needs of all of my students?
5)   Is there something I can use to help students build an electronic portfolio?

BLENDED LEARNING
may be the answer...
The Learning Management System (LMS)* allows teachers to post course content so students can access course material anytime, anywhere. 

Many teachers maintain class websites but seem to always be searching for more capabilities and features. The LMS replaces or improves almost all of the capabilities of traditional websites.

In addition, teachers using the LMS can:
  •  post course content, including multimedia, for students to access at any time
  • receive student work into an online dropbox
  • assess student work and provide descriptive feedback, all online
  • provide course information with the news & calendar features
  • provide ongoing communication to students & parents
  • engage students in rich class discussions
  • help students create and maintain online, or e-portfolios
  • and much more!
Blended Learning and e-Learning teachers can customize course content to meet the unique needs of the students in their class. Teachers using a blended approach can use as much or as little of this content and supplement it with their own digital resources.

Every course in the LMS is populated with the identical content that e-Learning teachers have access to when they deliver online courses. Developed by teachers and e-Learning Ontario, all course content aligns directly with Ontario curriculum expectations.  Teachers can create direct hyperlinks to all of the interactive learning objects, online quizzes, LEARN 360 videos, and other resources found in the OERB. 


Download the Printable version and to learn how you can start.









Sunday, November 4, 2012

Elegantly Simple Presentations

HAIKU DECK


Currently, there are many excellent options for making presentations. Many students like the ease and familiarity of PowerPoint. 

HAIKU DECK is an iPad app that offers another option for making presentations.

One of the best features is that HAIKU DECK limits the amount of text that may be put on a slide. 


"The app, as its name suggests, is all about brevity, enabling users to make clean, concise slide shows – or decks – with a heavily streamlined feature set.
Using it is fiendishly simple: You enter a few keywords of text onto a slide, and the app searches a database of over 35 million Creative Commons images that suit your subject."
A PRESENTATION APP THAT FORCES YOU TO TELL BETTER STORIES


A sample Haiku Deck is embedded below.





Friday, November 2, 2012

ARC GIS - Featured OSAPAC Resource

_____________________________________________________________________________________________ 
This post is the third in a series of posts highliting software available to
Ontario Teachers and
Students through the Ontario Software Acquisition Program Advisory Committee (OSAPAC)
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Teachers... are you asking the question, 

"Is there software that my students and I can use to
create, customize, and explore maps  ?"



ARC GIS may be the answer. 

ARC GIS is a Ministry Licensed piece of software available
to all Ontario students and teachers at no cost. 

For further information about OSAPAC Software, please visit the OSAPAC website, or contact your school Board's e-Learning Contact (eLC). 


For a high-quality version of this poster, please download here

 ____________________________________________________________________________________________
This post is the third in a series of posts highliting software available to
Ontario Teachers and 
Students through the Ontario Software Acquisition Program Advisory Committee (OSAPAC)
_____________________________________________________________________________________________